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Earlier this month I wrote about my experience volunteering with the newly reimagined Boise Farmers Market. Trying as these times may be, one needn’t look far to find others who suffer daily from things like chronic invisible disabilities and progressive illnesses. After last Saturday’s event, the market manager shared an email she had received from market patrons.

…we so love the Farmers Market and all you and the volunteers do and you have just given us another reason to be grateful. Tomorrow is our 40th wedding anniversary. We still use the word “celebrate” in connection of 40 years of marriage. As in celebrate the Anniversary. That in spite of the ups and downs that go not just with life but aging and in my case a chronically progressive disease (MS) for all 40 of those years. Our running joke is we go out for a nice dinner every year on our anniversary and over a glass of wine we toast and negotiate whether we will ‘renew the contract’ for the next year. Last year we did that at Petite 4. The year before at State & Lemp when the McCoys (of Camel’s Crossing fame) owned it. And so on. But this year dining out was not in our game plan (nor will it be for a while) and as much as we LOVE to cook (hence so enjoying the Farmers Market for ingredients) we didn’t want to really have to cook on our anniversary. Then, lo and behold, we saw the Ferranti’s were making veg lasagna this week. Woohoo! They are feeding us our main course tomorrow. The boysenberries we ordered from Albeke and the apricots from Shaw will be our dessert. And to make it even more awesome we kicked off toasting today after the market bags were unpacked with Huckleberry Danish from Acme to go with coffee and reflected on what a blessing it is to be in times of access to such good food so safely provided by you and the volunteers to use for our 40th celebration. Thanks!

This note brought into focus the importance of community, the importance of volunteering, the importance of health, the importance of safety.  This weekly event remains pretty much my only association with other people, aside from a quick, masked in ‘n out at the grocery store. This association brings me into contact with people from who knows where. Our small army of volunteers has not escaped the hazards of the pandemic. Three volunteers who worked the last Saturday in June were subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19. However, since that time, no other volunteers or vendors have reported a positive test (during which time our county’s numbers have soared). Hopefully all of our precautions are working.

I am thrilled that I could have been part of contributing this couple’s 40th wedding celebration. I even had a chance to snap a few pictures while there was a lull in activity.